‘What the Health’ is insightful but misses the mark on one aspect.
By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the social media buzz regarding the documentary “What the Health.” It is a film discussing the correlation between health and the foods we eat. It encourages a whole food, plant based diet as a solution to most ailments. While I do agree with a lot of the information discussed in this film, one thing pissed me off. Weight loss surgeon, Dr. Garth Davis says “No one wants to fat shame, and we all want everyone to be comfortable with their bodies, but this movement to be comfortable with our bodies has made us comfortable with being sick.” This is one of the DUMBEST things I’ve heard in a long time. How, Sway?
Validation of fat shaming
First of all, nobody in their right mind is telling people to stay overweight if it is affecting that person’s quality of life. Health is most important. If you have a disease caused by poor food choices (at any size), you should seek the proper treatments. Obesity does put you at risk for certain illnesses but it’s not a guarantee. A doctor telling someone to lose weight in order to reverse diabetes is not the same as fat shaming! As a healthcare professional, he should know the difference between the two.
Secondly, Dr. Garth Davis has now validated every internet troll. He’s made it acceptable to place comments like “Lose weight, fat ass” or “Stop promoting obesity” underneath a stranger’s picture. Fat shaming doesn’t encourage weight loss. It makes people feel like crap. It makes them think they are unworthy of love and happiness because of their weight. Which in turn, causes them to consume MORE calories. They also become afraid of the gym or outdoor activity because they may be bullied further! Read the study University of Pennsylvania did on the correlation between fat shaming and health risks if you need further proof. I’ve linked it below.
My advice to Dr. Davis is to reevaluate his word choice next time. Everybody deserves to be comfortable in their skin. That does not mean they are “comfortable with sickness.” There is no excuse for fat shaming.